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Charity and Nonprofit Audits

This page explains the IRS audit process for charities and other nonprofit organizations. 

You’ve probably reached this page because your charity or other nonprofit organization received a letter or phone call from IRS Exempt Organizations (EO) Examinations saying it had been selected for a review of its returns. The type of review is one of the following:

  • Audits: The IRS conducts two types of audits--
  • Non-audits: If the letter indicates the IRS is conducting a compliance check, then you're not being audited.

Note: The IRS also sometimes asks organizations to complete questionnaires to help us better understand how organizations satisfy federal tax law requirements. Neither compliance checks nor compliance check questionnaires are audits.

Organizations are selected for reviews for a variety of reasons, and the scope of the audit or compliance check will vary based on the type of review.

An audit starts with the initial contact and continues until a closing letter is issued. A compliance check or compliance check questionnaire starts with the initial contact. The IRS may contact the organization again if the IRS needs further information, or if the organization does not respond to the compliance check or questionnaire. The IRS typically issues a closing letter at the end of a compliance check, but not at the end of a compliance check questionnaire.

Taxpayer rights

Additional information - charity and nonprofit audits

Additional information - IRS Exempt Organizations

Other IRS-wide considerations

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 08-Nov-2016